Mac Fixes

14 Fixes to Your Mac Randomly Shutting Down (and How to Prevent it)

You finally did it—you put your phone down, fired up your Mac to start working, only for it to give up on you and shut down. And it’s not the first time. It’s been randomly shutting down of late, so you’ve finally had enough and Googled what to do—which is why you’re here. You’ve come to the right place.

 

You’re not alone, and it’s not just your Mac. Even MacBook Air devices shut down randomly. It’s technology, after all. The good news is there are many fixes for it.

 

Before we begin

 

Your Mac shutting down randomly is usually a sign that something isn’t quite right with your device. MacKeeper is an all-inclusive cybersecurity solution that provides tools to fix a host of performance issues on your Mac.  

 

Some fixes include a thorough cleanup and removal of hidden and unwanted files, unused apps, leftover files, and files hoarding up space. This optimizes your Mac, preventing it from randomly shutting off. MacKeeper offers a 7-day free trial, so you can test-drive its tools before paying anything. With nothing to lose, why not give it a try?

 

Start now

  1. Download MacKeeper on your Mac
  2. Click on VPN Private Connect in the left pane
  3. Click the Turn On button.

 

In just three easy steps, you can start fixing your Mac for free with MacKeeper and maintain it using its tools. But don’t click off yet. In this article, we’ll tell you why your Mac keeps shutting turning off and show you more ways to fix it. Let’s get started.

Why MacBook Pro keeps shutting down

Before you can get to work fixing anything, you need to learn why your MacBook Pro keeps shutting down randomly. It can be caused by any one or more of the problems below:

  • An older software version

Having an older version of macOS can cause an array of performance issues on your Mac, like unexpected shutdowns

  • Viruses and malware

It’s common for computers to get infected with malware, including MacBook Pros. That’s why you need to prevent it by keeping your computer clean and perform regular check ups  

  • Problematic apps and software

These typically include apps that are downloaded somewhere other than the App Store

  • Peripheral device malfunction

Peripheral devices that aren’t compatible with your Mac can also lead to it shutting down often.

How to stop MacBook Pro from randomly shutting down

Whatever the reason for your MacBook Pro turning off randomly, it can be fixed. Any one of the methods below should do the trick.

1. Check the power connection

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by the things you miss when your mind is preoccupied with work and other things.  

 

That’s why checking your power connection is the first thing you should do when your MacBook Pro shuts off randomly.  

 

Take a quick peek at the power source, like the plug point where your computer is connected. While on that, check if it’s connected in the first place.  

2. Complete a proper shut down

Sometimes, shutting down your Mac properly fixes any glitches it may have. Follow the steps below to shut your Mac down:

  1. Start by switching your Mac on again
  2. Check if all your apps are responding. If not, force it to shut down by pressing the Control + Option + Esc keys
  3. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select Shut Down
shut down option selected via apple icon on mac

4. After your Mac has completely shut down, switch it on again and use it as normal to see if the problem persists.

 

Is your Mac refusing to shut down? Learn how to force shut down a Mac that won’t turn off.

3. Boot into safe mode

While on the topic of problematic apps, sometimes the ones that load at startup could be the source of the problem. In that case, you would need to scan your Mac’s startup disk for any corrupt file systems.  

 

Safe Mode repairs any corrupt file systems found in the startup disk. Note the different steps to follow to enter Safe Mode depending on your Mac.

 

On a silicon Mac:

  1. Restart your Mac by clicking the Apple menu
  2. Choose the Restart option. Click the Restart button from the options on the screen. Press and hold the power button while your Mac is restarting until the startup options appear on the screen
restart option on mac via Apple menu

3. Select your startup disk

 

4. Press and hold the Shift key and simultaneously click on Continue in Safe Mode.

 

On an Intel-based Mac:

  1. Restart your Mac via the Apple menu
  2. Press and hold the Shift key until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

If you’re unsure about what type of Mac you have, check out Apple’s guide to find out.

4. Check your Mac for malware

Malware can go undetected for a long time until your Mac eventually shows signs of something being amiss. To get a handle on this, you need to weed out any malware on your device.  

 

Unless you’re a cybersecurity expert, you typically wouldn’t know where to look. And even if you do, you might not find all the malware on your Mac.  

 

That’s why you should use cybersecurity software that’s reliable and safe. MacKeeper is an all-in-one solution for all your cybersecurity needs.

 

It includes an Antivirus tool that scans your Mac for viruses and malware, and gets rid of it within minutes.

 

Follow the steps below to find and get rid of malware on your Mac with MacKeeper:

  1. Download MacKeeper on your Mac
  2. Click on Antivirus on the left pane
  3. Select the Start Scan button
acKeeper's antivirus tool

4. MacKeeper will start scanning your device. Once it’s done, click Move to Quarantine if any items are found

 

5. Now click the Quarantine button to view the files

 

6. Click on Select all, then click the Delete button at the bottom of the screen.

 

There are more ways to remove malware from your MacBook Pro. Follow our guide to removing malware from your Mac to learn more.

5. Reset your SMC settings

System Management Controller (SMC) is a chip on your MacBook Pro that manages the key functions on your Mac, like the battery and power.

 

Given that these functions are largely responsible for your Mac performing optimally, any issue relating to them could cause your device to randomly shut down.

 

In such a case, you’d have to reset your SMC settings. On a silicon MacBook, this happens automatically when you restart your computer, but the process is different on Intel-based Macs.  

 

Follow the steps below to reset your SMC settings on an Intel-based MacBook Pro:

  1. Shut down your device via the Apple menu
shut down option via Apple icon on Mac

2. Press and hold the Shift + Control + Option/Alt + Power keys on your Mac for 10 seconds

 

3. Wait a few seconds and then release the keys  

 

4. Turn your Mac on.

 

Resetting your SMC settings fixes a host of issues. For instance, it’s one of the ways to fix your Mac not turning on.

6. Overheating

Typically, when your Mac overheats, you’ll know, but it’s possible to miss it. Overheating can cause your MacBook Pro to suddenly switch off.  

 

To fix this, quit apps using up too much of the central processing unit (CPU).

  1. Go to Finder > Apps > Utilities > Activity Monitor
  2. Click the CPU tab
  3. Quit the most CPU-intensive apps and process (at the top) by clicking on each one, and clicking on the X at the top of the window. Click on Quit to confirm.
option to quit Spotify in activity monitor on mac

7. Reset the PRAM

PRAM is an acronym for parameter random access memory, which is responsible for storing the core details relating to your Mac’s operating system. These include speaker volume, display settings, and more.  

 

Resetting the PRAM is as easy as pressing and holding a few keys. Follow the steps below if you have a silicon Mac:

  1. Switch your Mac on
  2. Press and hold the Option/Alt + Command + P + R keys simultaneously for 20 seconds.

8. Reset the NVRAM

Non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) does the same job as PRAM. The difference is that PRAM is for older Macs, while Intel-based Macs have NVRAM.

 

To reset the NVRAM, follow the steps above and release the keys after you’ve heard the startup sound or seen the Apple logo twice.  

9. Uninstall apps

You probably have apps you don’t use, or apps that cause issues like freezing or your Mac randomly shutting down. There’s no question about it—those apps need to be deleted.  

 

Instead of manually deleting each app, which could be time-consuming and, therefore, daunting, why not use MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller?

 

It helps to optimize your Mac by safely and securely removing problematic apps and their junk files that the human eye might miss.

 

Here’s how to use MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller:

  1. Download MacKeeper on your Mac
  2. Click on Smart Uninstaller on the left pane
  3. Select the Start Scan button
  4. After it’s done scanning your computer, click on Remove Selected

10. Inspect Mac's ventilation

It might be worth checking if your Mac’s fan has any issues. Check if the vents aren’t blocked and clean them out if they are.

11. Customize Mac’s sleep settings

Conserve your Mac’s battery by setting your Mac to sleep as necessary. Check out the steps to achieve this in the “Minimize your Mac’s energy use” section below.

12. Reconnect the battery

If you’ve disconnected your MacBook Pro’s battery, now’s the time to connect it again. You’ll need some tools to remove the screws.  

 

But if you’re skeptical about opening up your hardware and possibly making a costly mistake, take your Mac to your nearest Apple Store.

13. Update or reinstall macOS

In many cases, the solution to your Mac’s problems is simply updating the macOS. Go to the Apple menu > About This Mac > Software Update. If there are any updates available, click on Update Now.

software update button selected on Mac

14. Contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried all the fixes in this guide and your Mac is still randomly shutting down, you’ll have to contact Apple Support.  

How to prevent your Mac from suddenly shutting down  

Now that we’ve covered how to fix your MacBook Pro randomly shutting down, let’s put some measures in place to prevent it from happening again in the future.

1. Check your Mac’s battery

It’s advisable to monitor your MacBook Pro’s battery regularly to ensure that it is still healthy. This will allow you to act quickly in the event that the battery is faulty.

 

Follow the steps below to monitor your MacBook Pro’s battery:

  1. Click on the Apple menu
  2. Select About This Mac > System Report > Power > Hardware
  3. Now review the battery information for your Mac.
Power option selected in Mac system information via about this Mac

2. Review your Mac’s logs reports

Your Mac’s logs give you a detailed report about your Mac’s issues. Reading them can help you identify and act on those issues. To access them, go to Finder > Applications > Utility > Console > Log Reports.

 log reports on Mac

3. Minimize your Mac’s energy use

Saving your energy is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get your MacBook Pro working optimally. To do this, follow the steps below:

1. Put your Mac to sleep

Click on the Apple menu, and click on Sleep

sleep option selected on Mac via Apple menu

2. Turn your display off

Go to the Apple menu > Lock Screen

 lock screen option selected on Apple menu

3. Dim the display

Dim the brightness of your screen by pressing the display key until you achieve a level of brightness that is comfortable to you

4. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

To turn off Bluetooth, click on the Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen, then toggle Bluetooth off

Bluetooth toggled off on Mac

Next, click on the Wi-Fi icon, then toggle Wi-Fi off

Wi-Fi toggled off on Mac

5. Disconnect unused devices and close unused apps

These are major energy consumers, so be sure to disconnect any accessories, like USB, that you don’t need. Quit every app that you aren’t using

6. Customize your energy-saver settings

Go to System Preferences > Battery. Click on Battery in the left pane. Move the slider to one minute and check the boxes for dimming your display and Mac’s Power Nap feature.

battery-saving settings on Mac

Now click on Power Adapter and follow the same steps as above (select one minute on the slider and check all the boxes below it).

power adapter settings on Mac

4. Calibrating your MacBook battery

Calibrating resets your battery, so it can reach its full potential. It’s more beneficial to older MacBook Pros, which don’t do it automatically. However, we’ll guide you through the process for both.

 

On newer MacBook Pros (post 2012):

Drain your battery to 0%, then charge it back up to 100%. This will successfully calibrate your battery.  

 

On older MacBook Pros (2006-2012):

  1. Charge your battery to 100%
  2. Continue charging it for two more hours
  3. Disconnect your MacBook Pro from the adapter and use it until the battery reaches 5%  
  4. Wait for the battery to drain and for your device to shut down
  5. Leave it alone for five hours or overnight to completely drain the battery, and charge it to 100% again.

Conclusion

At any given moment, your MacBook Pro might randomly shut down without notice. Fortunately, there are many fixes to the issue.  

 

But we know that you might not remember all 14 solutions. So, here are the most important fixes to keep in mind: check the power connection, shut down your Mac properly, and update macOS.

 

More importantly, check your Mac for malware and remove apps and associated files with MacKeeper’s Antivirus and Smart Uninstaller tools, respectively.

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